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OSHO Online Library   »   The Books   »   The Dhammapada: The Way of the Buddha, Vol. 10
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Chapter 12: A New Man with a New Vision

Skinner goes on working on rats and goes on finding how to condition rats, and he says the same is applicable to human beings. You just create fear and then they will not do certain things; and you create greed.. And that’s why paradise, heaven were created. These are simple strategies for dominating people. Create fear for that which you want people not to do and create the idea of reward for that which you want them to do - and you have created a mechanical behavior. They will not do the bad and they will do the good.

But what kind of good is this? It is exploitation by the society, by the church, by the state - by the vested interests. It has not changed the being of the man. It has not made him more aware, alert, more joyous, more celebrating. It has not given him any taste of bliss. It has not opened any window for him from where he can have a little glimpse of God. I don’t call it goodness, virtue. My idea of virtue is that it should be a by-product of consciousness. You should become so conscious that you can’t do wrong - not because you are conditioned but because you can see it is wrong.

For example, I was born in a Jaina family. Now, Jainas are the most fanatic vegetarians in the world. In my house even tomatoes were not allowed because their redness reminds you of meat and blood. Even poor tomatoes, so innocent! In my childhood, the very idea of somebody eating meat was enough to make me sick. In my family there was no possibility to eat in the night. Jainas don’t eat in the night. Who wants to suffer in hell just for eating in the night?

When I was eighteen years old, for the first time I ate in the night. It was so much against my whole background, but I had to because we had gone for a picnic and all the other boys were Hindus. They were not interested the whole day in preparing food, and I don’t even know how to prepare tea! So I had to depend on them. I told them many times, but they were not interested. They were interested in exploring the mountains we had gone to, the fort, a very ancient fort, and the statues and there were many other things.

The day was tiring and by the evening we were utterly tired. Then they started cooking food. The food was ready in the night. Tired, hungry.and the delicious food that they were preparing.and the aroma! And I was the only one who was in such suffering! I could not eat because just one night’s wavering and you suffer in hell for eternity. But I was wavering - naturally. On the surface I was keeping calm and cool as I was supposed to, but they were persuading me - and deep down I was ready to be persuaded. In fact, I was hoping that they would be able to persuade me! Finally they persuaded me and I ate. But I have never suffered so much. The whole night I was sick and vomiting. Nobody else was vomiting, nobody else was sick. It was just my conditioning.

Now, this kind of vegetarianism is not good. It does not come out of your consciousness - it is mechanical.

Mechanical goodness is not real goodness; it is just a facade. Intelligence is needed to be good, awareness is needed to be good.

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